Today, the idea has gone beyond the realm of the imaginary and entered the world of reality. Called Solar Ivy (and indeed, what else could you call it?), this revolutionary system of photovoltaic “leaves” offers the best of the botanical world combined with solar and kinetic energy, as brother-sister designer team Samuel and Teresita Cochran of Brooklyn-based SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) intended.

The leaves comprise thin-film photovoltaic (PV) material over polyethylene, each still as thin as a single leaf, with or without a piezoelectric generator attached.

Still in the concept phase, and faced with exorbitant costs for the miniscule generators (which create electrical potential every time the material responds to outside influences like wind), the mechanical ivy has so far been used in real life only on a bus stop.

Source: Solar Feeds.